Palm Islands, Dubai

It's a big call but Dubai's Palm Islands are perhaps one of the country's boldest megaprojects undertaken. Often referred to as the 'eighth wonder of the world' Dubai's Palm Islands are the largest manmade islands in the world and take their name from their artificially crafted palm tree shape. These offshore islands were created from reclaimed land and have since become a popular holiday destination thanks to their uniqueness and Dubai's fast-growing tourist trade.

There are three islands in total that make up Palm Islands Dubai including Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, however the only island open to visitors is the Palm Jumeirah. Home to the popular tourist attraction and famous luxury hotel Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah also features residential property, some of which are home to the likes of celebrities including David Beckham, as well as commercial attractions such as Crescent, The Trunk and 16 Fronds.

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All up, Dubai's Palm Islands are home to 5,000 waterfront apartments, 4,000 residential villas, 1,000 water homes and 60 luxury hotels as well as a number of marinas, health spas, shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, sports facilities and dive sites. However despite their name and shape, there are no actual palm trees in sight on the islands although, as the world's largest manmade archipelago, they are visible from space.

The Palm Islands were dreamed up by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum to attract more interest to Dubai as its oil supply dwindled. Teaming up with locally based developer Nakheel Properties, the Sheik's vision has since been responsible for attracting tourists to the smaller coastline and desert climate of Dubai, a feat that had previously proved difficult. The Palm Islands were completed in only four years, with each island using over 53 million pounds of sand and 12 million pounds of rock to be created.